Global resource scarcity and environmental degradation, along with related market and regulatory pressures, present growing challenges for the livestock sector worldwide.

At the same time, there is a growing recognition of the need for comparative and standardized indicators to assess the sector’s environmental performance and progress towards sustainability, which includes productivity and sustainability of water use in livestock production systems and supply chains.

The FAO Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership is a multi-stakeholder initiative created in 2012 to improve the environmental performance of livestock supply chains, whilst ensuring its economic and social viability.

In order to let producers and stakeholders understand the environmental performance of livestock production systems and supply chains, and to set and work towards improvement targets accordingly, the LEAP Partnership has been building global consensus on environmental assessment methodology and data.

This paper summarizes the main outcomes of the consensus-building process leading to the guidelines LEAP Guidelines for Assessment – Water use of livestock production systems and supply chains in terms of recommendations, providing rationale and context for the recommendations. It also highlights the knowledge as well as the gaps and challenges identified in the process.